Robust, flexible customisation and impressively resolved sound make working with the Ultrasone Signature Studio an essential not only for studio use but also for everyday listening.
For more than 25 years, the Upper Bavarian company has been investing in in-depth research, turning sceptical consumers into enthusiastic supporters with its innovative designs and patents. For two decades, I have listened extensively to and tested various Ultrasone models. Since I’ve usually been able to experience good listening results with devices from the manufacturer, I fall into the supporter camp. The Signature Studio is the cheapest model in the Signature series, offering plenty of interesting features for its relatively reasonable price.
First Impressions – Aesthetics, Feel and Function
The headphones are shipped in an elegant package with no fancy flair and extras. Information about what to expect from this model is printed on the back of the carton in five languages, with text overviewing things like S-Logic Plus technology, ULE standard, flexible usage options, as well as the convincing technical spec of relevant components. The headphones, which come in classic black, are mostly constructed from robust plastic and convince with their simplicity. Only the S-Logic Plus logo on the side of the headband and rear covers of the earpieces stand out in contrasting silver.
The surface padding of the faux-leather covered headband is made to a first-rate standard, with quality workmanship being a given here. The headband can be adjusted in increments for a bespoke fit, while the position holds firmly, even with considerable movements of the head. The Signature Studio has also been designed with adaptability/flexibility in mind, with the earpieces able to be positioned forward by 90 degrees. They can also be tilted by almost 180 degrees, even when folded. The flexibility of the model makes it incredibly easy to fold away and transport. With its first class flexibility, DJs would be advised to consider the Signature Studio as a worthy addition to their equipment arsenal.
The Signature Studio comes with two different connection cables, each of which can be attached securely to the left earpiece with a bayonet locking mechanism. A spiral cable with a jack socket, which can be stretched to a length of up to 3 metres for everyday studio use, along with a 1.2-metre cable for portable usage when connected to smartphones or tablets are both included. Combine the inclusion of these with the addition of a handy transport case and you’ve endless application possibilities.
Thanks to the generous adjustment potential of these headphones, the Signature Studio should fit any head. Combined with a rather high level of contact pressure, the headphones fit tightly and won’t slip during longer listening sessions. The medium-sized earpieces are well padded and covered with skin-friendly faux leather, although some users may find them a little on the small side. At normal temperature conditions, things remain pleasant and comfortable thanks to an innovative ventilation feature. At higher temperatures, the Signature Studio can become uncomfortably warm.
Another aspect worth commenting on is the shielding of the ear cans themselves. It’s certainly fit for task, ensuring you won’t bother anyone else in the vicinity with your media, even when listening at higher volumes. The noise-cancelling properties of these headphones to keep external noises out can’t quite compete with the reverse, with upper mids more likely to intrude. Nevertheless, I’m of the opinion that Ultrasone has implemented a reasonable compromise here.
Whoever is able to cope with the higher contact pressure of these headphones will be able to wear the Signature Studio for many hours at a time. I’m a bit more sensitive in this respect and take off headphones after sessions of about 75 minutes for a good quarter of an hour or so. The ULE (Ultra Low Emission) patented aluminium-metal shielding keeps most of the electromagnetic radiation away from the head. Without medically founded research results to refer to, the statement alone gives me some assurances for those longer listening sessions.
When listening to music, Signature Studio has something fresh, revealing and accessible. The headphones reveal production errors relentlessly. The titanium-coated 40 mm Mylar converters (special polyester film) and neodymium magnets provide a very detailed sound image, with a slight V-shape noticeable when it comes to frequency response. The specified frequency response of 8 to 40,000 Hz delivers what it promises, with sound artefacts and spatially imposed details skilfully removed, while low basses of productions are reproduced.
The integrated S-Logic Plus technology provides a slightly different spatial projection resolution than other headphones since the entire auricle is included for localisation and sound formation. The aim is to perceive distances to sound sources more accurately, allowing to feel more in the middle. In addition, the offset transducer means that the sound does not fall centrally into the auditory canal. This, according to the manufacturer, results in 4 dB less noise. The technology seems to work slightly differently for everyone. For my ears, it works successfully for the most part. Only with some live recordings did I have the feeling that the sound was losing cohesion because of spatial separation.
The wideband bass response delivers clear, rich bass that’s packed with energy and richness of detail. The transition to the mids also works well and the often criticised overlap effects are negligible. Although by definition the Signature Studio wasn’t designed for genres like hip-hop or club, they hold up well during playback of such recordings. The slightly reserved mids also skilfully draw a detailed sound profile.
These headphones master clear reproduction of many simultaneous sound elements without distortion. If you notice any with some productions, it’s usually a fault with the recording. It’s not always pleasant, but it underlines the ambitions of Signature Studio. These are primarily developed and marketed as headphones for professional applications. With the highs delivered by these headphones, some might be tempted to describe them as high-heavy and garish, but in the upper registers, these headphones showcase their strengths once again. Things are bright, lively and there’s a fast response to bass, reverb and overtones. These deserve a thumbs up for an above-average analytical capability.
With an asking price of less than 500 euros, Ultrasone offers the Signature Studio as a reliable partner for studio use and other professional applications, as well as everyday use for connections to devices like laptops. For all professional users of closed studio headphones, there is now a first-rate alternative that’s ideal for the upper mid-range, which is sure to soar to the top of the list in terms of sound quality.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)8 - 40.000 Hz
- Impedance33,8 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)101,13 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head762 g
- Weight with cable317 g
- Weight without cable289 g
- Cable length120 cm
What's in the box
- 2nd pair of ear pads
- 2nd cable with mini jack
- Travel case
- 5 years warranty